American DBE Magazine Summer 2020 Edition

The Summer 2020 edition of American DBE magazine includes a variety of articles related to the implementation and administration of the DBE program and includes best practices and thought-provoking discourse on industry challenges. Of particular note are the following articles: Program Spotlight | Disparity Studies Provide Evidence to Confirm Contracting Inequalities: Remembering the Impact of Atlanta’s First Disparity Study on …

The Invest in America Act and its Impact on the USDOT DBE Program

Colette Holt, Colette Holt & Associates The new “Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America” Act (“Invest in America Act”), which replaces the FAST Act that expires September 30th, reauthorizes the USDOT DBE Program. The Act finds that while significant progress has been made, discrimination and related barriers continue to pose obstacles for minority- …

Charge to Repeal Prop 209

Proposition 209 is a California ballot proposition (from 1996) that prohibits state governmental institutions from considering race, gender, or ethnicity, specifically in the areas of public employment, public contracting, and public education.  This legislation has been the norm for decades, however there is strong opposition to Prop 2019 that is swiftly gaining traction. California Assembly Constitutional Amendment No. 5 (ACA 5) …

FAA Guidance: ACDBE Joint Venture Agreements

The Federal Aviation Administration Office of Civil Rights continues its effort to promote awareness of all the resources and information available to Airport Grant recipients and their representatives on matters pertaining to the DBE and ACDBE Programs (Programs). A Joint Venture isan association of an ACDBE firm and one or more other firms to carry out a single, for-profit business …

SB1 Increasing Opportunities for Small Business

SB1 was signed in 2017 and invests $54 billion over the next 10 years to improve and maintain California’s transportation infrastructure. This is a good news for small businesses (SBs), disabled veteran business enterprises (DVBEs), and disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) because a trailer bill, SB103, now requires that Caltrans increase the dollar value of contracts and procurements awarded to SBs, …

SBA Office of Advocacy Submits Comments on Size Standards

On Aug. 22, Advocacy submitted the Small Business Administration’s proposed rule, Small Business Size Standards: Calculation of Annual Average Receipts. In the letter, Advocacy urges the SBA to revisit, revise, and re-publish for comment a supplemental initial regulatory flexibility analysis to ensure proper alternatives are discussed. View the letter here.

Independent Contractors in Question After California Employment Bill Passes

AB-5 Worker Status: Employees and Independent Contractors This bill is an act to amend the Labor Code and Unemployment Insurance Code following the decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles (2018) 4 Cal.5th 903 (Dynamex) regarding mis-classification of workers as independent contractors. Dynamex is a nationwide courier service employing drivers to make same-day deliveries. The …

City of Atlanta in Violation of Federal Obligation for Airport Grants

The Federal Aviation Administration says the city of Atlanta is in violation of its federal obligations for airport grants because of its actions in a dispute between the airport’s XpresSpa contractor and a minority partner. These violations can put the airport’s eligibility at risk for federal grant funding. Last week, the FAA launched a new investigation into the world’s busiest …

Illinois Supply Chain Manager Debarred by FTA

From June 30, 2017 to June 29, 2018, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) suspended Velda Berryman on allegations of fraud. Allegations were referred to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General (DOT-OIG) for investigation. The DOT-OIG confirmed that Berryman fabricated correspondences to appear as though an FTA equal opportunity specialist had certified Progress Rail Locomotive, Inc. as a …

Civil Settlement Reached with South Carolina Construction Company

Southern Concrete and Construction, Inc. (SCC) was investigated by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for allegedly violating the False Claims Act. According to investigations, SCC allegedly failed to correctly report certified payrolls with the intention of concealing non-DBE work. The settlement agreement of $83,860 was reached on June 5, 2019 as a compromise between SCC and the US Attorney’s …